Most Affordable & Best Rated Programs in Brazil - Fees starting from $ 400 for 2 weeks

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About

Iko Poran offers a wide range of safe, affordable and responsible volunteer programs in Rio de Janeiro. Our variety of programs includes Teaching, Childcare, Child Development, Community Development, Environment (really, not a garden) Protection, Sports Development, Health Promotion, Arts & Design, NGO Development and a special program preparing costumes to the big Carnival parade. We have the perfect volunteer project that matches your skills and interests.

- Start dates: 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month
- Programs can last from 1 to 24 weeks
- Volunteers have Fridays off to relax and explore around in long weekends
- Volunteers receive an orientation covering the culture of Brazil and also a tour in the area
- Programs with 4 weeks of more have a free 20 hours Portuguese course
- Best rated organization in Brazil with 14 years experience
- Most affordable program and registration fee in Brazil!
- Recognized as a Public Interest Organization since 2007

Main differentiators to other companies operating in this field:
  • Volunteerism should not be expensive for the ones with good hearts that want to lend a hand.
  • Only international volunteer organization based in a developing country that also runs its own developing projects. Most of other providers are profit-oriented traveling companies based in First World nations.
  • We are not targeting any surplus revenues. All money charged is used to further achieve our mission and contribute to our local programs
  • Volunteers pay their program fee directly to the local organization.
  • Volunteers partake in projects developed and operated by local partner organizations and their respective community councils.
  • Volunteers have a unique experience of by actively participating in developing communities for a fairer world while creating a rich personal opportunity for cultural exchange.
  • They have the chance to experience Brazil from a community perspective.
  • Iko Poran caters to an increasing demand for better logistics in the reception, lodging, transportation and allocation of international volunteers who wish to perform in social development projects in Brazil.
Highlights
  • Volunteerism should not be expensive for those want to lend a hand.
  • Only international volunteer organization based in a developing country. Other providers are profit-oriented travel companies based in First World nations.
  • Free 20h Portuguese course to help you get the most put of your program for volunteers staying 4 weeks or more.
  • Volunteers receive a cultural orientation + city tour upon arrival.
  • Most affordable program and registration fees! Program fees starting at only $400 for 2 weeks

Questions & Answers

Hi Sabrina, Thank you for your interest in our programs. You can find detailed information about the fees on the Brazil's webpage and also on the Fees webpage of our website. Please feel free to ask any other questions you have. We are always happy to help :)
Hi Sabrina, Thank you for your message. The sooner you start the application process the better. First because you will secure your placement in our highest tourist season (summer on the Northern Hemisphere), and also because you will receive our pre-departure material, including fundraising guides, that can help you cover the expenses of your trip. The program fee is due only 30 days before the...
Nowadays we use a hostel and a volunteer house. Last July we had 25 volunteers at a time, 10 at the house and 15 at the hostel. They are both located in Santa Teresa neighborhood and volunteers usually do things together.

Reviews

94%
based on 38 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 31 - 38 of 38
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Natasja
10/10

Language barriers

Brazil has been on the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember, and 3 months ago I decided this was the year I go. I had been wanting to volunteer for quite a while and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. After researching my various options of volunteering companies, I decided to go with Iko Poran. This was one of those good life choices. From the first email I sent, till when I left, Felipe was there to answer and assist all the way. The program is really well priced and the hostel is in a good location. Portuguese classes are included, with probably the nicest teacher ever!The other volunteers I met along the way were by far an asset to my trip. Most are like minded and genuinely just want to make a difference, while having fun. The city in itself is amazing, the people, the atmosphere, beaches, everything. This was by far one of the best months of my life!

To my detriment, I never took the time to learn any Portuguese before my trip to Brazil. Upon arrival, I realized that this might have been a really, really bad life choice. Although many Brazilian's do speak Portuguese, the majority of them are not in the service industry. So for the next month I played charades, ever day. The people in the shops around my hostel became familiar with my lack of Portuguese and eventually everybody would partake in guessing what exactly I was looking for. One particular trip to the pharmacy was quite interesting as I was looking for sleeping pills. The game of charades continued an till the customers joined in and we eventually solved the problem after I had made a complete fool of myself:)

How can this program be improved?
Program was pretty good, if I had to change one thing, more selection of beers in the fridge :D
Yes, I recommend this program
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Parin
10/10

The best experience of my life!!!

I was really nervous before arriving in Rio as it was my first time volunteering and also my first time travelling alone. I remember sitting in the car with Felipe, the Coordinator General of Iko Poran, and I was telling him how nervous I was, to which he told me "There is nothing to worry about, you're going to have the time of your life."

He couldn't have been more right! Everything about Rio was amazing. The volunteering program itself was really fun and eye-opening. The other volunteers I met were amazing! Rio really is a cidade maravilhosa. Most of all, Felipe and Iko Poran were amazing. The organisation and care they took for us volunteers were good, and I would recommend Iko Poran to anyone!!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
vicky
9/10

Iko Poran - Nos do Cinema

Of all the volunteer abroad programmes I researched this was by far the best value for money. I had a fantastic time, really enjoyed meeting the other volunteers and the Iko Poran staff were fun, friendly and seemed genuinely happy to hang out with us. It was a great way to meet local people and get to know a side of Rio that you would never see otherwise. The accommodation was great and in a fantastic, beautiful and very lively neighbourhood.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to change the NGO I was involved with as I didn't really have much to do there and felt disjointed from it.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lizzy
9/10

Feel part of the local community

Initially booked to spend 6 weeks volunteering in Kunta Kinte capoeira school in Santa Teresa, I extended my stay for a further 6 weeks. I tutored English and drama, working with another volunteer to help the kids write and perform in their own short film, and later helping with the pre-school age capoeira lessons (about my level!).

I immediately felt a part of the local community, with invitations to churrascos, recommendations of local places to go, and being asked to help with various local events centred around the school including a Mother's Day celebration, Open Studios weekends and more.

The accommodation provided in Santa Teresa was a real hub for volunteers and locals alike, with musicians and artists often gathering for chilled-out weekend evenings in the communal courtyard. Santa Teresa is so village-like you would hardly believe that you're in the centre of a huge city, but you literally have everything Rio has to offer within minutes of the front door.

The Iko Poran staff were welcoming, friendly and flexible, gave great advice on living in the city, and organised social activities for the volunteers including several group outings to Maracana stadium to see the beloved Botafogo play!

I have wonderful memories of my time in Rio and it was the best way to start my round-the-world trip.

How can this program be improved?
Some more planning of the volunteer activities in advance would have helped. I was initially expecting to help put a website together for the school, only to find when I arrived that the staff didn't really want one! However, my skills were quickly put to use elsewhere and I can't fault the experience once I had arrived.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Chetan
10/10

An experience of a lifetime

I spent 1 month in Rio de Janeiro, helping Carlão and his football project in Barreira do Vasco. It was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to meet this wonderful human being. His efforts in the Community to provide a fun academy for the children in the area is incredible. The kids were really fantastic and extremely talented. Not to mention it was impossible to get the ball off many of them! I was really emotional leaving the kids and Carlão, but definitely made a friend for life and still keep in touch.

Iko Poran, were excellent in organising my stay in Brazil and I had a lot of fun with the staff and Felipe, the Director. I felt totally safe and accomodated for and if I needed any assistance or help, the organisation's staff were very easy to get in touch with. Living in Rio does require many precautions and smart thinking for personal safety and blending in with Cariocas but the staff are really helpful with advice when you arrive there.

During the weekdays, voluntary work was the key focus, but in the evenings and weekend there was plenty of opportunity to travel, socialise and take advantage of the wonders of Rio. Music, dancing, culture and arts are richer than in any part of the world and the social scene around Lapa is phenomenal.

This really was a life changing experience. After my month with Iko Poran, I have actually been mentoring one of the kids I met in the Favela. He is brilliant and has so much potential for his career dreams. I am determined to make his dreams come true. Without Iko Poran, I wouldn't have had this chance.

How can this program be improved?
This programme could be marketed better around the world. It is a fantastic opportunity to really make a difference to people and their lives and I hope we can spread Iko Poran's message even more!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Dane
10/10

Great Organization and Wonderful Programs

I spent 6 weeks in Rio de Janeiro volunteering with Iko Proan. I had a wonderful time working with the kids in my programs and will always cherish my experience hanging with Felipe and the gang. I wish I had more time to spend there. All of the other volunteers were great and we had a blast exploring the city during our off time.

How can this program be improved?
Not much. It was pretty perfect.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Gerbert
8/10

Football trainer in a favela in Rio

I volunteered in Rio de Janeiro as a football trainer and English teacher. Iko Poran placed me in a project called Jocum in the favela Borel. Jocum is a very organized Christian charity with a hospital, music school, women project, football project and they organize a lot of different activities for the community. Safety in the favela was no problem; in fact, the people were very welcoming to me when they knew that I volunteered for Jocum and they were very eager to participate in the program. The participants of the football project are around 18 years old, so playing football with them is a great experience in itself if you like football! Staying there for a longer period gives you the chance to really make a difference and help the people, although a short stay will be great too. Next to the football trainings I also taught the participants of the football project English classes.
As I stayed for almost 3 months with another volunteer, we became good friends with the boys in the favela and they treated us like we were one of them. Still months after volunteering, I'm in touch with many of the boys from the football program and I promised them to come back!

What I liked the best are the relationships we could build with the football players and help them in making their life decisions, eg. about going to school, having work, how to treat the girls in the favela, how to stay away from criminality, etc.

Iko Poran has two houses where you will live with the other volunteers. Living with the other volunteers is a lot of fun and you will enjoy every day/night. At Iko Poran, Zac and Vivi help you with everything you need, they also offer you Portugese language course, which helps you a lot to get around.

How can this program be improved?
Pricing of the program could be improved. Just to volunteer we paid a lot for accommodation and breakfast. However, the quality of these were pretty bad. The mattresses were bad, kitchen equipment was very old and the wifi barely worked if everybody was back in the hostel.
For breakfast, there were only white slices of bread, cheese, ham, most of the time a piece of fruit, 1 type of cereals, milk and coffee. For none of us this was enough to start a full day of volunteering.
To sum up, nothing too bad, but Iko Poran can easily improve these to improve the experience of the volunteers.
Response from Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

Dear Gerbert,
Thank you very much for your review. We at Iko Poran are very glad to know you had an awesome time with us in Rio. It is great to know your volunteer program was productive and you feel that you really caused a positive impact.
I just want to address the breakfast and the accommodation issues because you are right: breakfst was not very good and we impoved it with juice, fruits and cereal; there are more bread, ham and cheese for the ones who want to eat more, and we did not raise the price for the accommodation. Besides that, because of your review we changed all the mattresses that were not in good condition.
We really appreciated having you here with us and look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Best wishes,
Iko Poran

Yes, I recommend this program
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David
9/10

Community development - making a real difference

Working for 3 weeks in the favela has been a fabulous way to realy help the locals and make life a little better for the kids, teenagers, their parents and the staff in charge.
We were 3 volunteers to help out Cleidy, a dynamic and wonderful woman, who runs (almost all by herself) a place that provides a safe learning place for kids. There are basic English classes, computers (without internet connexion), books to read, a room to practice samba or ballet and a court yard to play outside (in a depressing state). Throughout all activities, the key message is always "study and use birth control if you want to have a better life!"
When arriving the first day with our local coordinator Vivi, it was clear that a lot of work had to be done. While the enthusiasm of the staff and the very warm welcome were great, we were overwelmed by the limited infrastructure. We decided to take it step-by-step and make sure that walls got cleaned and painted, rooms were cleared and the court yard freshened up by plants and flowers and a friendly, huge, educational wall painting. While doing this, the kids (between 5 and 18 years of age) and the staff were most of the time around, chatting to us, helping or just observing :-)
What I liked most is the fact that we have been able to make a small contribution that realy makes a difference. Things go slow in Brazil and priorities are different in the Favela but the enthusiasm and gratitude is the best gift we could receive!

How can this program be improved?
In some cases it would be helpful if specific tasks/projects were identified prior to the first day of work. In my case, we have lost precious time due to the lack of preparation (discussing with locals, sorting out materials, changing priorities etc.)

More money and volunteers for the local projects.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

IKPVA offers a wide range of affordable, safe and meaningful volunteer projects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Our variety of programs includes Teaching, Childcare, Community Development, NGO Support, Construction, Environment Protection, Animal...